German Volume Training (GVT) is a hypertrophy program designed by Charles Poliquin to shock the muscles with a significant increase in volume through 10×10 sets. It is designed to be run for a relatively short period of time, about 4 weeks, and is comprised of three different workouts run five days per week. This is all explained in more detail below. [Read more…]
10 Best Bodybuilding Programs for 2021
- PHAT Workout Program
- Joe Delaney 6 Day Upper/Lower Split (Ibiza Shreds)
- PHUL Powerbuilding Program
- Joe Delaney 5 Day Full Body Split
- Intermediate Bodybuilder Routine by Ripped Body
- Metallicadpa 6 Day PPL (aka Reddit PPL)
- Mike Israetel Hypertrophy Program
- 5/3/1 BBB for Bodybuilding
- Arnold Schwarzenegger Golden Six Routine
Recommended Reading: The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding by Arnold Schwarzenegger (2012) (Amazon)
About Bodybuilding Workouts
A bodybuilding program is designed to induce hypertrophy in the athlete's muscle, stimulating muscular growth. This is often done by exercising each body part approximately twice per week in a "splits" that target certain groups of muscle per training session.
Except in the case of the big 3 compound movements, bodybuilding routines rarely focus on working off of a percentage of a lifter's one rep max because they include so many accessory movements where a 1RM isn't always helpful. Instead, the number of sets, amount of rest in between sets, and rep ranges are often manipulated to induce hypertrophy. Of course, the weight lifted helps achieve this goal too.
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Search the Lift Vault Program Library to find the exact program you're looking for based on many criteria (e.g. experience level, days per week, and much more).
The latest bodybuilding & hypertrophy programs are available below.
Lyle McDonald’s generic bulking routine (GBR) is a 4 day upper/lower split that focuses on building mass. It is a bulking routine for building mass that is designed to be run while on a caloric surplus with a weight gain goal of about 0.5 to 1 pound per week. It can be run for 6 weeks to 8 weeks before a 2 week deload. [Read more…]
A glute hypertrophy program is a workout routine that focuses on growing the size of the glute muscles. From Flap Jacks 2 Thick Stacks is a glute hypertrophy program designed by Brendan Tietz that is organized as a 4 day upper/lower body part split that uses heavy compound movements and targeted accessory movements to strengthen the full body, not just the glutes. [Read more…]
Jeff Seid’s workout routine is a 5 day or 6 day split program focused on hypertrophy and bodybuilding aesthetics. The routine hits most muscle groups once per week, but has an optional sixth day where you can work on any muscle groups you think need extra attention. [Read more…]
Here are some of the best workout plans for building strong, lean muscle. These routines focus on high volume, which stimulates muscular hypertrophy in the athlete. Coupled with proper nutrition and recovery, these programs will help the athlete develop larger, stronger muscles. [Read more…]
Lee Hayward’s 12 week bodybuilding program is broken up into four 3 week cycles, each cycle focusing on adding volume to the same set of lifts before switching to new movement variations and rep ranges for the next 3 week cycle. Each week has four training days, with the recommended set up being Monday/Tuesday/Thursday/Friday. [Read more…]
Joe Delaney’s Ibiza Shreds program is a 6 day upper/lower split workout routine focused on bodybuilding and hypertrophy. It runs for 3 blocks spread across 10 weeks, each week comprised of two upper body training days, two lower body training days, and two isolation exercise + abs training days. [Read more…]
Joe Delaney’s 5 day full body split is a bodybuilding workout routine focused on aesthetic goals and having fun in the gym. This workout was birthed from Joey D’s personal training experience with different workout splits and represents how he has been training as of January 2020. [Read more…]
This is a 5 day body part split focused on hypertrophy, not strength or powerlifting. It uses the principle of maximum adaptive volume (MAV) to help guide the number of sets each muscle group performs in a training week. This makes it somewhat similar to the hypertrophy workout program based on Mike Israetel’s training volume landmarks article. [Read more…]
Bodybuilding Workout Routine FAQs
What is a bodybuilding program?
A bodybuilding program is a workout routine that emphasizes muscle growth (i.e. muscular hypertrophy) in the athlete. In contrast, a powerlifting program is designed with the goal of increasing an athlete’s one rep max in the squat, bench press, and deadlift.
What is a good bodybuilding program for beginners?
Will I get stronger running a bodybuilding program?
If you are currently untrained, yes, running a bodybuilding program will increase your overall strength. If you measure strength based on one rep max or weight lifted in the 3 to 5 rep range, then no, a bodybuilding program will not likely increase your strength. They can, however, improve your work capacity, which can later lead to strength improvements. The primary goal of a bodybuilding program is to build muscle, not increase maximal power output.
Will I lose weight running a bodybuilding program?
Weight loss is predicated upon burning more calories than the amount consumed over time. Any exercise program can assist with burning calories, but the other critical component of this equation is diet. If you eat enough, you can gain weight while running a lifting program. Use a TDEE calculator and calorie tracker to help meet your weight loss goals.
What does a typical bodybuilding program look like?
A typical bodybuilding training program will utilize 3 sets or 4 sets of an exercise for anywhere from 8 reps to 15 reps, with 10 reps or 12 reps being common as well. Anywhere from 3 days to 6 days per week can be dedicated to training, with 4 days or 5 days being quite common.
Here’s an example of two training sessions designed for muscle growth could look like. They are based on the Ripped Body Beginner Bodybuilding Program,
This day focuses building muscle mass on the lower body muscle group (e.g. glutes, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps).
|Exercise||Sets||Reps||% of One Rep Max|
|Calf Raises with Leg Press||4||8||n/a|
This day focuses on building muscle mass on the upper body muscle group (e.g. biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest).
|Exercise||Sets||Reps||% of One Rep Max|
|Lat Pull Down||2||8||n/a|
|Dumbbell Chest Flys||2||15||n/a|
Day 3 and Day 4 can be found on Ripped Body Beginner Bodybuilding Program page. Again, the above is just an example. The training template is flexible.